Posted: 09/06/2023

Experience the Arts in Lancaster, PA

Galleries galore, live shows, murals and more.

Experience the Arts in Lancaster, PA

Lancaster’s art scene is blossoming every day, with galleries and shows, exhibits and murals to explore throughout the county. Passionate artists and performers are sharing their talents with visitors and local alike, whether in their personal gallery or on stage at one of Lancaster’s top-of-the-line theaters.

Whether you’re an art admirer or like to get hands-on to create works of your own, Lancaster’s art offerings will fill your day with creativity and beauty.

Galleries, Art Exhibits & Murals

Local artists have set up shop with galleries across the county, with a large number of them being in Downtown Lancaster. Stop by to browse their works and get to know more about what inspires them. Be sure to check out the galleries that make up Gallery Row, located along Prince Street. So many great artists are located on Gallery Row such as Freiman Stoltzfus, Friendship Heart Gallery and Red Raven Art.

On the first Friday of every month, head downtown to explore the galleries alongside entertainment, music and more.

In addition to the regular offerings of the galleries, museums and other artsy venues host rotating art exhibits that focus on specific artists or themes. From student shows at Pennsylvania College of Art and Design to exhibits of art by Lancaster-born Charles Demuth, there are countless shows to check out.

Located within Lancaster County Central Park, Historic Rock Ford offers guided tours of Edward Hand’s home. Make sure you visit the John J. Snyder Jr. Gallery of Early Lancaster County Decorative Arts. The gallery showcases a one-of-a-kind collection consisting of over 230 objects by Lancaster County artisans including tall case clocks, silver, furniture, and portraiture created during Edward Hand’s residency in America.

From there, head over to Leola, PA and visit Julia Swartz Gallery.

Art is all around the local community as well in the form of murals and public sculptures. Our mural maps will guide you through Lancaster County and Lancaster City to experience the free public art, from murals depicting local life and history to beautiful quilts painted on barns.

Find upcoming art exhibits in Lancaster County.

On Stage

Lancaster is home to theatres and performing arts venues that are bringing stories to life, from comedy shows to toe-tapping musicals. You can catch a notable musical act at Fulton Theatre or dive into a Bible story at Sight & Sound Theatres – or both! Wanna support aspiring artists from Lancaster Bible College? See a show at the Trust Performing Arts Center in Downtown Lancaster.

Check out our Upcoming Shows guide to find a performance that’s perfect for you, and make sure to book your tickets early!

Hands-on Art

Creating our own works of art can be just as fun and exciting as browsing fantastic works made by others. Classes, from pottery making to canvas painting, are held at spots like Lancaster Creative Factory and Painting with a Twist.

An option that’s great for kids and adults alike is The Pottery Works and Gem Den in Downtown Lancaster. The spaces neighbor each other and feature hands-on art projects. Horst Arts in Manheim is another great option for kids and adults to get in touch and explore their creativity, offering various events and classes throughout the year.

Annual Events

Beyond the year-round offerings, Lancaster hosts a variety of art events. The first Friday of every month celebrates the arts in Downtown Lancaster. First Friday features extended gallery hours, live music and special activities for art-lovers to enjoy. In the spring and fall, Downtown Lancaster hosts a self-guided Art Walk where guests can browse galleries and enjoy the offerings along Gallery Row, in an art-filled weekend.

In addition, popular art shows are held in Lititz (August), Mount Gretna (August), and Long’s Park (September).

Staying Over

Even the place you stay overnight can have a creative twist. For a bed & breakfast experience, book your stay at Hermansader’s Victorian Mansion B&B or the Artist’s Inn & Gallery. Both feature galleries with original art, created by local artists. For a boutique hotel experience, consider Lancaster Arts Hotel, located in Downtown Lancaster. Each room has its own distinctive style, creating a retreat from everyday life. If you are looking for a less traditional space that feels like home, and has an amazing mural of a poppy on the side the building. Try the airbnb thats near the river, Poppy House on Mulberry.

The Hollinger House is a beautiful bed and breakfast located in the southern end of the county, about a 15 minute drive from the city. This makes it a perfect destination for those looking to stay in the countryside but still be close to the city. The rooms feature period antique furnishings, beautiful paintings by local artists, and spectacular decor.

The E. J. Bowman House is a beautiful bed and breakfast that'll make you want to extend your stay. Housed in an Italianate home from the 1860s, this B&B has been elegantly restored. The rooms are tastefully designed, featuring period furniture and murals throughout the house, depicting Lancaster County's various seasons. You'll have your own private key and bathroom with a heated tile floor, as well as a gas fireplace/stove that you can personally control.

For art lovers, young and old, we hope these ideas will inspire a creative trip to Lancaster to take in all that our blossoming art scene has to offer.

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